Photos of the Day: Zihua Sail Fest

February 5 - Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Would you like to hear some very good news for a change?
In just its second year, the cruiser-created and run Zihua Sail Fest, held Jan. 29 through Feb. 2, has blown the doors off all expectations by raising an astonishing $23,000 U.S. for the Netzahualcoyotl School in Zihuatanejo that educates and feeds (mostly) orphan children from five local indigenous tribes.

The 29th featured a Southbounders' Cruising Seminar in the morning, followed by a Zihua Kick-Off Party that night at Rick's Bar. Jim and Sue Corenman gave a three-hour wireless email seminar on the morning of the 30th, which was followed by a gala beach party at the Los Gatos Beach Club that afternoon. The next afternoon, 26 of the 80 boats in the bay participated in a six-mile 'nothing serious' pursuit race, which was followed by a dinghy-in cocktail party with as many as 145 people aboard Profligate at once. On February 1, three catamarans, Michael Wright's 42-ft Wavy, Paul Biery's Catana 43 New Focus, and Latitude's Profligate, participated in a charity race fund-raiser. The event wrapped up the next day with a sail parade led by the port captain and attended by many Mexican officials, and with a beach party and awards ceremony. Wow!

When the Wanderer, from afar, tossed out the idea of a charity event in Zihuatanejo last year, he envisioned a casual one or two day event that might raise $500 or $1,000 for some unknown charity in town. But Jimmie Zinn of the Richmond YC based Morgan 38 Dry Martini and another cruiser on Abraxas worked with Rick of Rick's Bar to take that concept further, raising $2,000, which was matched by the Richard and Gloria Bellack Foundation of San Diego, bringing the total to $4,000 in 2002.

When this year's organizing committee set a goal of a total of $10,000 - $5,000 raised and $5,000 matched by the Bellack Foundation - we thought the heat of Zihua had melted their brains. But we had greatly underestimated the skills and dedication of Chris and Becky of Bonne Idée, Michael and Catharine of Breila, Ed and Daisy of Siesta, Dawn and Christopher of Alaska Sun, Mikki and Greg of Mikelai, and Jimmie and Jane of Dry Martini and Rick of Rick's Bar. They raised $11,500 dollars - including $3,000 from non-sailor Bill Underwood - which when matched by the Bellack Foundation brought the total to $23,000.

At the awards ceremony, a symbolic check was presented to Marina Sanchez Hernandez, an extraordinary Indian woman, who, having received an education thanks to charitable help, has dedicated her life to helping others get a similar education.

Gloria Bellack presents a $23,000 check to
Marina Sanchez Hernandez of the Indian School.

Marina started out teaching non-Spanish speaking Indian students under the trees a number of years ago, moved up to a school housed under a tin roof with stick walls, but now has a more permanent facility. The purpose of the school is provide Spanish skills and a primary education for the children, for as the Indians' traditional means of earning a living are drying up, they and their culture will perish unless they can be assimilated into Mexican society. The problem is Indian children don't speak Spanish, so they can't be admitted to local schools.

Some of the orphaned indigenous children
from the Netzahualcoyotl Indian School.

Photos Latitude/Richard except as noted

What could be better than doing good while having sailing fun in the winter warmth of Mexico? Several of the core organizing committee members will be back next year, so if you're coming to Mexico next winter, put the Zihua Sail Fest down on your calendar. We don't have the exact dates, but figure on near the end of January.

A couple of cruisers hard at work raising money through blindfolded banana shenanigans.

In the pursuit race, the catamaran
Wavy edges past a Ranger 29.

The last leg of the pursuit race, in which
Wavy tries to overtake a Peterson 44.

Dinghy-in cocktail party aboard Profligate
Photo Jim Knapp

Cruiser kids at dinghy-in party

Heike, wife of Rick of Rick's Bar, and friend cool their heels on one of Profligate's transoms during the catamaran charity sail. Zihua air temperatures were in the 90s and water temps were in the mid-80s.

Clipper Sailors Cavorting in Paradise

February 5 - Oahu, HI

The crews of Clipper Ventures' Clipper 2002 are enjoying some shore leave on Oahu, before departing for Yokohama and the beginning of Leg 3 on Feb. 12 in their around-the-world race. Bristol Clipper was the first to arrive at Ko Olina, but Jersey Clipper retains first place overall.

The view from atop Jersey Clipper
Photos Courtesy

Bristol Clipper transiting the Panama Canal

Break-Dancing on the Hauraki Gulf

February 6 - Auckland, NZ

During the break between the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup, there's a whole lotta sailin' going on. Currently running just outside the American Express Viaduct Harbour are the ISAF 2003 Team Racing World Championships. Fourteen teams representing eight nations are racing in 420s. Each team competes with three two-person boats and sails off against another team in a fleet race scenario to score points. The regatta begins with a round-robin phase followed by a series of sail-offs to determine the winning nation.

Photo Courtesy

New Zealand are the defending champions, having won two successive world titles, the first in Ireland in 1999 and the second in the Czech Republic in 2001. New Zealand's leading Laser sailor Andrew Murdoch is joining forces with his brother, Hamish, and sister, Rebecca, in an attempt to retain the World Team Racing champions trophy on home waters. At this point in the racing, however, the Kiwis are in fifth place behind two GBR teams and two USA teams. The regatta began on January 31 and continues through to February 7. For more, see

Starting today is the International Classic Yacht regatta for vintage and classic keelboats. This is the second such event held in Auckland, following the success of the inaugural regatta, held between the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup in 2000. Hosted by the Cup defenders, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, the regatta provides for four days of racing, beginning with a 30-mile passage race to Kawau Island today (Feb. 6 in NZ).

The fleet will overnight at Kawau Island and then compete in two short-course races on Friday, with a passage race returning to Auckland on Saturday. The regatta concludes with a short course race on in Waitemata Harbour on Sunday.
The oldest of the 85 yachts registered is the local Logan-designed gaff cutter, the Jessie Logan, launched in 1880. Jessie Logan is 40 feet long overall and 25 feet on the waterline. Also taking part in the event are 15 classic launches, which will compete in a log rally and will also act as escort to some of the smaller yachts on the passage races. See

Then, it's time for the big boys and their big toys to take part in the second running of the New Zealand Millennium Cup superyacht regatta. Hosted by the New Zealand Marine Export Group (MAREX), the regatta runs Feb. 10-13.

Paul Cayard will steer the record-breaking sloop Canon Leopard owned by Briton Mike Slade. The 97-ft yacht, designed for racing and charter cruising, finished third in this year's Sydney-Hobart Race. Dennis Conner will take the helm of the Ed Dubois-designed 134-foot Destination. Stars & Stripes afterguard Tom Whidden will sail with Kiwi owner Neville Crichton on the 90-ft Sydney Hobart race winner Alfa Romeo. Francesco de Angelis, Prada skipper in 2000 and 2003, will drive the 105-ft Italian fast cruising sloop Ulisse, owned by syndicate head Patrizio Bertelli. Prada's Gavin Brady will steer the 80-foot sloop Innovision, and Prada's Brazilian tactician Torben Grael will be aboard the 112-foot aluminum performance sloop Ipanema. British skipper Ian Walker, who steered GBR Challenge's Wight Lightning, will take the helm of the oldest yacht in the Millennium Cup, 100-ft gaff cutter Moonbeam.

Aboard the 1992 Louis Vuitton Cup finalist NZL-20, there will be a reunion of the old crew. NZL-20, which raced on San Francisco Bay last year, was shipped from San Francisco to Auckland by its new owners for the Cup season. Designer Bruce Farr is expected to be on board. Kiwi sailors Kelvin Harrap and Matthew Mason, who sailed this time for OneWorld, and Robbie Naismith who sailed with Oracle, will be crewing on the 111-ft high performance cruiser Silvertip. Other Kiwi Cup sailors, including Richard Dodson and Kevin Shoebridge, will be aboard the 108-ft Imagine. For more on the Millennium Cup, see

Read Ivor Wilkins' complete overview of these events at

Drake Passage in an Open Cat

February 5 - Drake Passage

Roberto Pandiani, a 45-year old Brazilian, and Duncan Ross a 39-year old South African, have left Cape Horn bound for the Antarctic Peninsula aboard Satellite, an open 21-ft catamaran. They will cross the Drake Passage, 500 miles of the roughest ocean in the world. The trip is expected to take 45 days. The small Kevlar cat, built by Barracuda Technologies in Rio de Janeiro, will be the first open boat to reach the frozen continent.

Aboard Satellite
Photo Makoto Ishibe
Photo and Graphic Courtesy Travessia do Drake

The expedition will arrive in the northern part of the Peninsula at Deception Island. From there they'll explore south with a second objective of reaching the polar circle some 300 miles away. Here for 30 days they hope to explore the beautiful and relatively unknown land of ice and rock.

A support vessel, Kotic - a 62-ft steel ketch and Antarctic veteran ­ will cross the Drake at the same time as the small catamaran and will provide a base during the exploration of the peninsula. They will be monitoring the weather and transmitting information via satellite phone to the catamaran crew. Kotic will be used as a mother ship and will be taking the main cargo, making the cat a faster and safer boat.


Kotic will also handle Internet data transmissions during the crossing. The project's Web site receives the catamaran's position every 15 minutes through the Inmarsat C satellite system. The signal is then plotted to a map that gives their latitude, longitude, direction and speed so that the trip can be followed by Internet viewers. See (in Portuguese and English). 


February 5 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? The YOTREPS daily yacht tracking page has moved to

Weather Updates

February 5 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out

The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is at

California Coast Weather

Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.:

Pacific Winds and Pressure

The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.

Pacific Sea State

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at:
For views of sea states anywhere in the world, see

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